Bookmark and Share

The Farmgate Café, Cork

Lunch and Japanese Tourists – May 2007
Japanese tourists try some boiled potatoes
Lunch at the market café, called the Farmgate Café, which, we guess this from the number of Japanese tourists who turned up, some obviously not speaking a word of English, appears to have got itself a name in the guidebooks. One couple, with their regulation upturned flowerpot cloth hats that identify a Japanese tourist anywhere in the world, obviously had no idea what the menu said, but perhaps had been advised by the guidebook to ask for fish chowder, followed by the fish of the day. The woman of the party skipped main course, possibly she thought that struggling with one unidentified foreign dish would be enough, but the man manfully got his roast cod and dutifully ploughed his way through it to fulfil the itinerary. We both had fish chowder for starters, which was indeed very good, and I had Irish stew for mains, accompanied, as was the Japanese man’s cod, by potatoes done the old-fashioned Irish way, boiled in their skins. This works very well with something like Irish stew, as the potato soaks up the gravy. Quite what the Japanese man made of it we couldn’t tell for he remained impassive and intent upon doing the itinerary. But not much by the look of it. Hilary had a salad with smoked salmon, also very good. No wine for us, as it was lunchtime, but we noticed a couple of Marche wines on the menu, ah, that’s nice.
Irish Dutch cheese and conger eel
Although we had lunch in the market we’d really gone there to buy some Irish cheeses to take home, there being a good range of Irish cheeses now, for example we bought some Irish mature Gouda that, though I’m not a Dutch cheese expert, seemed very good to us. We were told that it was made by a Dutch woman who’d emigrated to Ireland, and on our walk in the hills the previous day we’d met a local man and his current girlfriend, possibly his only ever girlfriend we didn’t ask, who was Dutch, and you kind of think, how does someone find their way from Holland to the far west of Ireland? But obviously they do somehow, we didn’t ask how, because that would have seemed, to us anyway, too forward.
The thing I really wanted to buy in Cork market as soon as I saw it was some conger eel. You don’t see conger eel in the north of England and possibly no longer do you in the south, which if true is a shame. In Cork market were two fine, ugly, conger eels. But I didn’t buy any as we were travelling back on Ryanair, and if they confiscate a tube of lipstick because you could attack the pilot with it I dared not imagine how they might react to a kilo of conger eel.


Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails